Navigation Links
Hidden sponges determine coral reef's nutrient cycle

Marine organisms hidden in caves, such as sponges, play an extremely important role in the nutrient cycle of coral reefs. Indeed they probably play the most important role of all, says Dutch biologist Sander Scheffers. And that is valuable information for nature conservationists who want to preserve the coral reefs.

In order to protect coral reefs it is important to understand how both the reefs and their environment function. Researchers often concentrate on subjects such as physical damage to reefs, the bleaching of coral and coral diseases. Sander Scheffers investigated a lesser-studied subject: the nutrient cycle on the coral reef and the role that organisms living in cavities, such as sponges, play in this.

Underwater camera

To determine the nature and size of this role, Scheffers first of all examined the precise appearance and quantity of these virtually inaccessible caves and their living communities. He did that on the Caribbean island of Curaao using a special underwater camera. The films shot revealed that sponges were the most important inhabitants, followed by animals such as tube worms, tunicates and bivalves. Together they fill more than 60 percent of the cavities. Further the cavities were found to have a surface area eight times greater than that of the coral reef, as seen from above by divers.

Filterers

And according to Scheffers a larger living surface also means a larger filtering surface. Sponges filter the water. They take up planktonic particles such as bacteria and excrete inorganic nutrients. In turn, these nutrients can facilitate the growth of marine plants and other organisms.

Sponges filter at a phenomenal rate: if the seawater were to remain stationary, the sponges would have completely pumped it away within five minutes, i.e. they would have removed all of the small plankton from it. This is of course not the case, as there is a continuous supply of fresh water into the sea . According to Scheffers, these hidden organisms play a key role in the marine nutrient cycle due to their incredible capacity to convert enormous quantities of organic plankton into inorganic material.

The results from Scheffers' research have been made available to the personnel from the Marine under water park of Curaao and have been presented to the local government.


'"/>

Source:Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research


Related biology news :

1. Hidden-hero microbes in soil, water may help naturally clean toxic sites
2. Newly-discovered class of genes determines ?and restricts ?stem cell fate
3. Biologists determine genetic blueprint of social amoeba
4. USC researchers determine mechanism of action of chemotherapy drug
5. Weapon performance determines mating success in the collared lizard
6. Scientists determine structure of enzyme that disrupts bacterial virulence
7. New technique helps researchers determine amino-acid charge
8. Researchers unlock how cells determine their functions
9. Researchers map out networks that determine cell fate
10. Genetic tug of war determines sexual differentiation
11. Structure determined for p53 tumor suppressor protein as bound to DNA for anti-cancer activity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/3/2017)... 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis ... a statistically significant association between the potency ... and objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. ... whether cancer patients will respond to CAR-T ... as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... -- The report "Video Surveillance Market by ... Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, Installation ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued at ... reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR ... considered for the study is 2016 and the forecast ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global ... of around 8.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... Hong Kong (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... for Global Sales. , With over 20 years of experience in the learning technologies ... LEO, a sister company within Learning Technologies Group plc (LTG). At LEO, Mastin served ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Dutch philosopher Koert van Mensvoort - founder of the Next ... in Eindhoven - has written a ,Letter to Humanity, in support ... avoid becoming a slave and victim to its own technology, but to employ ... ... van Mensvoort – founder of the Next Nature Network and Fellow of ‘Next ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , ... April 18, 2017 , ... Alisa Wright, founder ... Alumni Awards from the Purdue College of Pharmacy in Lafayette, Indiana. , The ... Program for achievements in their careers and other scientific endeavors. , Wright began ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 19, 2017 , ... As part of the ... to novices as well as experienced users, attendees will gain a better understanding ... tests. , Hemostasis testing quality is determined by preanalytical variables which encompass ...
Breaking Biology Technology: